Do you want more room? more peace? more money? more time? less stress?TheExceleratedLife.com
Then you ought to think about these reasons to declutter your spaces.
Details Or Clutter?
“There is a difference between details and clutter.” ~ Rob Bell
Let’s be clear about what we mean by clutter.
In How To Be Here, Rob Bell includes a section about the effects of clutter. He begins by emphasizing that clutter is different from the details of our lives. The main difference? “The details matter.”
Clutter is all those books you’ve collected that you’re never going to read. Details are the books you’ve read (and maybe reread) and that you’ve filled with underlines and notes.
Clutter is the pile of CDs or (gasp) cassette tapes that you never listen to. Details are the music you play when you work or exercise or relax.
Clutter is all the clothes you have hanging in your closet that you’re never going to wear, even when you get down to that size again. Details are the few articles of clothing you regularly do wear.
Clutter is “the endless flotsam and jetsam in your car, your closet, your garage, your kitchen, your bedroom, and your office.” “Details are those objects you use regularly that help you do better whatever it is that you do.” “Details remind you who you are, where you’ve been, and what your path is.” [Bell]
As Within, So Without
“The Law of Correspondence,” Brian Tracy tells us, “says, ‘As within, so without.’ It says that your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. This law declares that you can tell what is going on inside of you by looking at what is going on around you.”
If your external world is peaceful and ordered, then your inner life is peaceful and ordered. If your inner life is chaotic, your external world is likely to be a mess. The interesting thing is this – when you change one, the other changes. You can change either one to affect the other, however, it is generally easier to change the external part – to bring order to your external life and your environment.
Rob Bell echoes this idea. “If your desk is cluttered,” Rob says, “don’t be surprised if you find it hard to focus.”
“If your closet and garage are piled with stuff you don’t use, don’t be shocked when you are easily distracted.”
“If things are lying around your living and working space that don’t serve a clear purpose, don’t be amazed that you aren’t very calm and centered.” [Bell]
How much of the stuff that surrounds you is vital to your life? How much is clutter?
As within, so without. If you need focus and peace and order in your life, maybe it’s time to get rid of the clutter.
Why You Need To Declutter
To be clear, here are reasons to declutter your space. These are some of the advantages you’ll gain by clearing up the clutter around you:
- You’ll feel less stress.
- You’ll gain more space.
- You’ll have more peace
- It’s easier to find things.
- You’ll increase your productivity and efficiency.
- Your home will be easier to take care of.
- You’ll spend less.
- You’ll have more time and energy for other things.
[10 Reasons to Declutter Your Home]
And . . .
- “It’s causing you to overeat — and maybe gain weight.
- It’s why you always feel so tired.
- It negatively impacts your decision-making skills.
- It’s fostering an environment for germs and pests.
- It’s physically dangerous (watch your step!).”
What Decluttering Isn’t
Removing clutter doesn’t mean you have a perfectly clear desktop. Or that you have all your possessions stored in color-coded plastic bins. It isn’t having all your books sorted by size and color. Nor all the items in your pantry alphabetically arranged.
The reasons to declutter your space don’t necessarily include being super organized. Organized clutter is still clutter.
What Decluttering Is
Clearing up the clutter is basically removing anything you don’t find useful or beautiful or that doesn’t – in the words of Marie Kondo – “spark joy”.
It means having a place for everything with everything stored in its proper place. It means knowing where all your tools, implements, and toys are stored. And knowing that’s where you’ll find them. It’s having important papers filed in such a way that you can go right to them when you need them. You have space in your closet because, instead of wearing only 20% of your clothes, you wear 80% of them most of the time. And it’s you able to find what you need when you need it.
How To Start
Here’s a way to begin. Look for and remove these 20 things to get rid of right now:
- Actual trash.
- Damaged items.
- Expired foods, spices, or medicines.
- Clothes that no longer fit.
- Those things you never use.
- Stuff you’re keeping “just in case”.
- Extras or duplicates. (But not your reserve.)
- Hobby materials you’re no longer interested in.
- Stuff that brings up bad memories.
- Socks with no mates.
- Hole-y underwear.
- Old receipts.
- Blurry photos and duplicates.
- Empty boxes.
- Dried up makeup.
- Instruction manuals and warranties for things you no longer have.
- Dried up pens and markers.
- Unused apps.
- Digital clutter.
- Those things you don’t know why you have.
How To Sustain The Decluttering Habit
You start the decluttering habit the same way we start all habits – by taking small steps and taking them consistently. Perhaps you toss out all your old newspapers and then discard others when they are a day or two old. Or magazines you’ve had more than a couple of months. Discard junk mail in the recycle bin on your way into the house (or shred if it has sensitive information). You might add your practice as a daily discipline and strengthen your self-discipline while you clean up your environment.
Or try the Zorro Circle. Unclutter one small area, a shelf, a drawer, your car, a corner of your desk. Then commit to keeping that area free of clutter. Gradually add other areas, keeping each one clear once you’ve cleaned it up.
However you decide to move forward with clearing up the clutter around you, it’s important to start right away. Speed is a force. The longer you wait to act after you decide to do a thing, the less likely you are to actually do it.
So back to the steps above.
Pick one small way you’ll declutter or select one small space.
Clean it up now. Go ahead, we’ll wait.
. . .
Now, tie this to an existing habit or to a particular time of day.
And the next day.
And the next.
And the next . . .
Decluttering is the first step in being well-enough organized: able to find what you want when you want it. Once you remove the stuff you don’t use or need or don’t find beautiful or inspiring, organizing the remainder becomes easier.
Remember your reasons to declutter your space. More space, more peace. Less stress, less wasted time, less wasted money. Why not pick up one thing right now and throw it away, give it away, or put it away? Now you’re beginning to be well-enough organized. And that is embracing your Excelerated Life™!
Excelerated Organization™ — being clutter-free and well-enough organized — able to find what you need when you need it — is one step in creating your Excelerated Life™, a life of flourishing and well-being, and a life of meaning, purpose, and service.
“10 Reasons to Declutter Your Home.” Balance Through Simplicity. Balance Through Simplicity, September 7, 2021. Web. December 18, 2021.
Bell, Rob. How To Be Here: A Guide To Creating A Life Worth Living. New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2016.
McDonough, Lauren Smith. “8 Serious Reasons You Need to Declutter, Once and for All.” Good Houskeeping. Hearst Magazine Media, Inc., January 5, 2016. Web. December 18, 2021.